IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM PRESENT: THE HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR.MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL K.NARENDRAN FRIDAY, THE 13TH DAY OF JANUARY 2017/23RD POUSHA, 1938 WP(C).-------------- NO. 4018 OF 2014 (S) PETITIONER(S): 1.RESIDING K.P. MOHAMMED, ADVOCATE, AT PULLIYIL HOUSE, K.S. PURAM P.O., KARUNAGAPPALLY, KOLLAM. 2.KATUMPURATHU A. NASAR, HOUSE, K.S. PURAM P.O., KARUNAGAPPALLY, KOLLAM. BY ADVS. SMT.SREEDEVI KYLASANATH SRI.RENJU RESPONDENT(S): 1. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY THE CHIEF SECRETARY, GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695001. 2. THE SECRETYARY, ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS MINISTRY, PARLIAMENT STREET, NEW DELHI-110001. 3. THE EXCISE COMMISSIONER, EXCISE COMMISSIONERATE, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695001. 4. KULASEKHARAPURAM GRAMA PANCHAYAT, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, KULASEKHARAPURAM, ADHINADU VADAKKU.P.O.-690544, KOLLAM DISTRICT. 5. KERALA STATE BEVERAGFES CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS MANAGER DIRECTOR, SASTHAKRIPA OFFICE COMPLEX, SASTHAMANGALAM-695010. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM. 6. F.L.I. SHOP 02019, KERALA STATE BEVERAGES CORPORATION, REP. BY THE SHOP IN CHARGE, KARUNAGAPPALLY-690518, KOLLAM DISTRICT. ...2/- WP(C). 4018/2014 (S) -:2:- R5-R6 BY ADV. SRI.C.S.AJITH PRAKASH, SC, BEVERAGES CORP R1 & R3 BY SENIOR GOVERNMENT PLEADERSRI.M.A.ASIF R2 BY ADV. SRI.N.NAGARESH, ASSISTANT SOLICITOR GENERAL R5 BY ADV. SRI.NAVEEN.T., SC, KERALA STATE BEV.CO. M. AND M. THIS WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) HAVING BEEN FINALLY HEARD ON 13-01-2017, THE COURT ON THE SAME DAY DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING: WP(C). 4018/2014 (S) APPENDIX PETITIONER(S)' EXHIBITS: P1. COPY OF THE KULASDEKHARAPURAM GRAMA PANCHAYAT DECISION NO.V DATED 27-5-2011 ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. P2. COPY OF THE REPRESENTATION DATED 17-10-2013 SUBMITTED BY JANAKEEYA SAMRAVEDI BEFORE THE HON'BLE CHIEF MINISTER OF KERALA ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. P3. COPY OF THE GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION ID 33339-1426823-170 ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. P4. COPY OF THE LETTER DATED 5-11-13 OF THE DISTRICT COLLECTOR, KOLLAM ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION . P5. COPY OF THE KULASEKLHARAPURAM GRAMA PANCHAYATH COMMITTEE'S DECISION NO. 3(1) DATED 4-11-2013 ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. P6. COPY OF THE LETTER NO. K7-6426/13 DATED 7-11-2013 OF THE 4TH RESPONDENT REJECTING LICENSE ALONG WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. P7. COPY OF THE STATE-WISE DETAILS OF THE2009-2011 ROAD ACCIDENTS CAUSED DUE TO INTAKE INFORMATION BUREAU, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA IN WEBSITE.PUBLISHED OF ALCOHOL/DRUGS DURING BY PRESS P8. COPIES OF THE NEWS PAPER REPORT REGARDING CENTRAL GOVERNMENT ADVICE TO REMOVE LIQUOR SHOPS ALONG NATIONAL HIGHWAYS COLLECTED FROM WEBSITE. P9. COPY OF THE COMUNICATION NO.RT 25035/40/2011-RS DATED 1.12.2011. P9(A). COPY OF THE D.O. NO.RT 25035/70/12-RS DATED 11.3.2013 OF THE MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS. P10. COPY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING THE TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN FRONT OF 6TH RESPONDENT'S SHOP. P11. COPY OF THE DECISION DATED 18.3.2014 IN CWP NO.25777/2012 OF THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA TAKEN FROM WEBSITE. RESPONDENT(S)' EXHIBITS:- A1: COPY OF THE LIST OF SHOPS STATED TO BENEAR NATIONAL HIGHWAY AND STATE HIGHWAY ARE PRESENTLY HOUSED. R1(A): COPY OF THE RELEVANT PORTION OF THE ONE MAN COMMISSION REPORT. R1(B): COPY OF THE WRIT PETITION NO.484/2014 AND THE ORDER OF THE HON'BLE APEX COURT DATED 8.7.2014. WP(C). 4018/2014 (S) APPENDIX-2 R3(A): COPY OF THE G.O(MS) NO.169/2013/TD. DATED 4.10.2013. R5(A): COPY OF THE LETTER DATED 29.11.2014 TO THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, TAXES DEPARTMENT. R5(B): COPY OF THE LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE EXCISE COMMISSIONER. R5(C): COPY OF THE DETAILS OF THE FL-1 SHOPS LOCATED ON THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY FORWARDED TO THE GOVERNMENT. R5(D): COPY OF THE CIRCULAR DATED 16.9.2015. R5(E): THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO TAXES IS ALSO ADDRESSED ON THE ISSUE ON 18.09.2015, A COPY OF THE LETTER DATED 18.9.2015 FORWARDED BY THE KSBC. R5(F): COPY OF THE ORDER IN SLP(C) NO.8267/14 AND CONNECTED CASES. ANNEX-A4: COPY OF THE DETAILS OF SHOPS WHICH WERE CLOSED ON 1.1.2015. KRJ /TRUE COPY/ P.A. TO JUDGE MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR, C.J. & ANIL K. NARENDRAN, J - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - W.P(C) No.4018 of 2014 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Dated this the 13th day of January, 2017 JUDGMENT
Mohan M.Shantanagoudar, C.J.
This writ petition is filed seeking for a direction to respondent Nos.1, 3 and 5 to shift FL1 Shop No.02019 run by the 6th respondent, Kerala State Beverages Corporation, at Kattumpurath Junction in Kulasekharapuram Panchayat abutting the National Highway, to a non-objectionable place, within a time frame. Certain other reliefs akin to the impugned relief are also sought for by the petitioner.
2. The sum and substance of the case of the petitioner is that not only the aforementioned shop, so many other liquor shops are located throughout the State, abutting the National/ State Highways. The situation of liquor shops on the highways is creating law and order problems and traffic jams also. Further, access to alcohol in the highways is a major contributor for the high rate of road accidents. Hence, this writ petition is filed.
3. This Court, by order dated 10.11.2014, observed that it is the primary duty of the State Government to ensure that liquor shops are located at a considerable distance from the National/ WP(C).4108/14 -:2:- State Highways and they are not located in the service roads adjoining the National Highways or State Highways. The State Government have to come up and take appropriate action in the above regard. The interim order was issued directing respondent Nos.1, 2 and 3 to take appropriate measures in that regard and identify those shops, which are located on the National/State Highways or service roads abutting the National Highways and take steps for shifting them to any other non-objectionable place. However, till this day, the interim order granted by this Court seems to have been not complied with by the respondents.
4. Be that as it may, the Apex Court in State of Tamilnadu v. Balu [2017 (1) KLT 132 (SC)] has held that Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is indicative of a parliamentary intent to follow a zero-tolerance policy towards driving under the influence of alcohol; no distinction can be made between National and State Highways in regard to the location of liquor shops; in regulating the use of National and State Highways, the safety of the users of the road is a paramount concern; drunken driving as a menace and as a cause of road accidents is a phenomenon common to both National and State Highways. The Apex Court also held that the prohibition for locating the liquor shops should extend not merely to the National and State Highways, but must WP(C).4108/14 -:3:- be so appropriately tailored so as to ensure that the policy is not defeated by locating liquor shops in close proximity of the highways. A restriction that the shop should be accessible or visible from the National or State Highways or from a service lane along such highways is necessary to ensure that the policy is not surreptitiously violated. Ultimately, it is concluded that no licence for liquor shops will be allowed, both on National and State Highways.
5. In paragraph (24) of the above decision, the following directions are issued by the Apex Court:
"(i) All States and union territories shall forthwith cease and desist from granting licences for the sale of liquor along National and State Highways.
(ii) The prohibition contained in (i) above shall extend to and include stretches of such highways which fall within the limits of a municipal corporation, city, town or local authority.
(iii) The existing licences which have already been renewed prior to the date of this order shall continue until the term of the licence expires but not later than 1 April 2017:
(iv) All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor shall be prohibited and existing ones removed forthwith both on National and State Highways.
(v) No shop for the sale of liquor shall be (i) visible from a National or State Highway; (ii) directly WP(C).4108/14 -:4:- accessible from a National or State Highway and
(iii) situated within a distance of 500 metres of the outer edge of the National or State Highway or of a service land along the Highway.
(vi) All States and Union territories are mandated to strictly enforce the above directions. The Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police shall within one month chalk out a plan for enforcement in consultation with the state revenue and home departments. Responsibilities shall be assigned inter alia to District Collectors and Superintendents of Police and other competent authorities. Compliance shall be strictly monitored by calling for fortnightly reports on action taken.
(vii) These directions issue under Art.142 of the Constitution."
Since the question involved in this writ petition is fully covered by the aforementioned judgment and the conclusion reached by the Apex Court, this writ petition stands disposed of in terms of that judgment.
Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, Chief Justice Sd/-
Anil K. Narendran, Judge krj.13/1